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Charlotte trying to be more bike friendly


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Saw this on Twitter and couldn't resist sharing it here.

So if you happened to see 20 kids on bikes this morning ...  CLT Bike Camp is up & running...   

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just received a postcard in my mailbox addressed to "Current Resident" from The City of Charlotte General Services re: The Uptown CycleLink 

Uptown CycleLink  - Construction starting soon on 5th/6th Street segment!

"In the coming weeks the City of Charlotte will begin construction of a two-way separated bicycle lane on portions of 6th Street, 5th Street and McDowell Street.  Charlotte City Council recently awarded the construction contract to Blythe Development.  Construction is anticipated to take place in phases between February and December 2021.  You should expect to see intermittent lane closures and construction activity occurring along portions of the project alignment during that time.  The City and its contractors will make efforts to minimize disruptions to traffic, especially during peak travel times."  ... "Supported by a broad community engagement process, the Uptown Cycle Track will provide an important east-west bicycle connection between Little Sugar Creek Greenway and Irwin Creek Greenway."

Image result for image of Uptown CycleLink Charlotte 5th/6th Street Protected Bicycle Lane

Image Photo Gallery - Uptown CycleLink - CDOT

Photo by Grant Baldwin Photography, courtesy of Sustain Charlotte

Photo by Grant Baldwin Photography, courtesy of Sustain Charlotte

Uptown Cycle Track map

 

Link:  https://charlottenc.gov/Projects/Pages/UptownCycleTrack.aspx

Edited by QCxpat
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On 8/27/2020 at 1:22 PM, davidclt said:

@davidclt , admittingly being lazy so feel free to ignore my query. ;-)

How do things stand now? Can I get from Park Crossing's greenway link (not sure of name i'm ashamed to admit) into uptown entirely on greenway and  where is the link to figure it out? Much of the stuff I come across from the city is not updated and/or inaccurate. If incomplete linkage is it on low speed/safe roads which this novice would feel  safe on. My Mom lives on S. Tryon and want to get there with reasonable effort. I would walk if back in shape as I think it would only take around 2h there and back and that is how I prefer to exercise. You can zone out and listen to podcasts safely that way ;-)

Gonna pull the trigger soon. I really, really need to get to work on fitness

<TMI on>

This could be interesting to some. Hope it's not too out of bounds and should be in Covid thread but most hate going there much cause of all the fighting . Will maybe cross post my question as perhaps someone is attempting to quantize the ED overrun issue I have  :

After nearly being pronounced dead  last April (family called in to say bye and their voices evidently triggered a miraculous, never before seen, type recovery sending the nurses running to get the 8! surgeons back) and spending 3 months of last 12 in hospitals I've gotta get my legs back! Amazing how quickly the muscle disappears when lying in bed, much of the time unconscious! Also amazing hospital bills to insurance well over $1.5M. Thank goodness for the Affordable Care Act or I would never get affordable insurance again I bet. Glad to know both my senators and my congressman oppose that. I wish them a similar journey!!! And idiot libertarians or idiot people who have the $ but don't want to buy insurance causing others to pay their way.

Here's a pro hint - do not go to Pineville Atrium ER during the epidemic with a serious condition because then CMC main will not take you very quickly and their ED physicians & the surgery team are not up for major trauma or at least were not that fateful night. No triage, had to sit nearly crying and in pain in ED waiting room for ~4 hours. Then they realize - oh crap... There was one elderly cancerous looking guy who was actually crying and laid on the floor. No reaction except to tell him to sit in a char. Poor dude he looked really bad off.

While in the hospital there they had an event at least 1 time a day with the ED under security alert due to someone breaking into to the actual ED and/or raising a huge fuss in the waiting area.  Wonder why? Although not sure what they can do about it.  They're simply slammed. When people like @Dale rale against shutdowns in the coronavirus thread because the numbers are wrong  (i <think> that is his tin foil hat point) I wonder how many are wrong the other way with the ED being overrun?

I'm not really complaining as I have no idea what else they were already dealing with and at least I wasn't put on a gurney in a hallway or something.  <TMI off>

Thanks!

Edited by elrodvt
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19 hours ago, elrodvt said:

@davidclt , admittingly being lazy so feel free to ignore my query. ;-)

How do things stand now? Can I get from Park Crossing's greenway link (not sure of name i'm ashamed to admit) into uptown entirely on greenway and  where is the link to figure it out? Much of the stuff I come across from the city is not updated and/or inaccurate. If incomplete linkage is it on low speed/safe roads which this novice would feel  safe on. My Mom lives on S. Tryon and want to get there with reasonable effort. I would walk if back in shape as I think it would only take around 2h there and back and that is how I prefer to exercise. You can zone out and listen to podcasts safely that way ;-)

Gonna pull the trigger soon. I really, really need to get to work on fitness

First, thanks for sharing your story and I can appreciate the impact of atrophy on muscles (ask me about skiing Blackcomb after three botched knee surgeries. Hilarity ensued.)

Sadly for all the truly good GIS work done by the city and county (@kermit may disagree with my assessment but I'm a mere amateur), the bicycle maps in PDFs are static and infuriating so no good sources that I an find - and also not on greenway, just on bike routes. This may be the best: Charlotte Bike Map.pdf (charlottenc.gov). It looks like Park Crossing to Old Pineville Rd. bike route which picks up the rail trail around Scaleybark into Uptown by hook and by crook.

For podcasts, I'm truly a junkie (I subscribe and listen to to 95+ podcasts) so I definitely get the appeal of walking and listening. I listen to everything but music podcasts at 2x speed - people really do speak too freaking slowly. (you want suggestions, I have suggestions)

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6 hours ago, davidclt said:

First, thanks for sharing your story and I can appreciate the impact of atrophy on muscles (ask me about skiing Blackcomb after three botched knee surgeries. Hilarity ensued.)

Sadly for all the truly good GIS work done by the city and county (@kermit may disagree with my assessment but I'm a mere amateur), the bicycle maps in PDFs are static and infuriating so no good sources that I an find - and also not on greenway, just on bike routes. This may be the best: Charlotte Bike Map.pdf (charlottenc.gov). It looks like Park Crossing to Old Pineville Rd. bike route which picks up the rail trail around Scaleybark into Uptown by hook and by crook.

For podcasts, I'm truly a junkie (I subscribe and listen to to 95+ podcasts) so I definitely get the appeal of walking and listening. I listen to everything but music podcasts at 2x speed - people really do speak too freaking slowly. (you want suggestions, I have suggestions)

Hi, thanks very much for that information. I was going to walk it in a few weeks (I'm sorta hyper aggressive regarding rehab or so my wife says ) to help guide my e-bike purchase decision. I've got plenty of time since I was forced into SS disability. ;-(

Appreciate the offer wrt to the podcast list! I'm unfortunately (would prefer to remain within Google ecosystem) tied down to TuneIn by my Tesla and my desire to remain within Linux or Mac and Android. Plus Google's podcaster,  in another example of Google's infuriating trend towards ignoring standards, doesn't support opml files afaik. So, if your podcaster supports opml export please attach the list here or pm it. I bet others would like to see it - especially if you have some Charlotte/NC oriented casts such as Charlotte Talks. Otherwise, I'll be glad to turn whatever you have including screenshots you into an opml for any one who wants it.

Regarding bikes I need to go the e-bike route or wait a long while to have the endurance to get to uptown. Although, there might not even be a safe enough route it sounds! I'm not going to let some SUV dummy playing with their phone end my days and Charlotte is the worse for drivers like that IMHO. Given that profile, if you or others can give some advise on bike models (I typically go towards the best functionality and could care less about looks or trendy components) it would be appreciated. I got some great advice here before but things change really quickly. Last time I asked here it looked like the Rad Power product line might suit me. 

Ironically being from Burlington Vermont then Denver I hate skiing but am sure up for a funny rehab story. I guess this is where we used to say ”wanna grab a micro” but alas...

Edited by elrodvt
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6 hours ago, elrodvt said:

Hi, thanks very much for that information. I was going to walk it in a few weeks (I'm sorta hyper aggressive regarding rehab or so my wife says ) to help guide my e-bike purchase decision. I've got plenty of time since I was forced into SS disability. ;-(

Appreciate the offer wrt to the podcast list! I'm unfortunately (would prefer to remain within Google ecosystem) tied down to TuneIn by my Tesla and my desire to remain within Linux or Mac and Android. Plus Google's podcaster,  in another example of Google's infuriating trend towards ignoring standards, doesn't support opml files afaik. So, if your podcaster supports opml export please attach the list here or pm it. I bet others would like to see it - especially if you have some Charlotte/NC oriented casts such as Charlotte Talks. Otherwise, I'll be glad to turn whatever you have including screenshots you into an opml for any one who wants it.

Regarding bikes I need to go the e-bike route or wait a long while to have the endurance to get to uptown. Although, there might not even be a safe enough route it sounds! I'm not going to let some SUV dummy playing with their phone end my days and Charlotte is the worse for drivers like that IMHO. Given that profile, if you or others can give some advise on bike models (I typically go towards the best functionality and could care less about looks or trendy components) it would be appreciated. I got some great advice here before but things change really quickly. Last time I asked here it looked like the Rad Power product line might suit me. 

Ironically being from Burlington Vermont then Denver I hate skiing but am sure up for a funny rehab story. I guess this is where we used to say ”wanna grab a micro” but alas...

OPML attached (yeah I'm a geek) and a few Charlotte (Nooze Hounds, R&D in the QC,  The Charlotte Podcast and of course CT) and NC podcasts (Away Message) in the list as well as some music, news, politics, money/business/finance, science/health, storytelling, etc. I will say for podcasts, I do like PocketCasts. It's cross device compatible on Android, iOS, Linux, Mac (OSX) and Windows with a web player for PCs and native clients for iOS and Android and cloud syc for subscriptions and progress. That said, I get the Google ecosystem, etc. Seems like Tesla defanged TuneIn on their latest releases and I lost my "Favorites Radio" which was fine (I also use Spotify which may explain the disappearance of TuneIn on my head unit).

podcasts_opml.xml

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As far as I know, there is no "official" link from the Park Crossing neighborhood to the Sugar Creek Greenway.  Though one very nice resident ( over the objections of his neighbors) has made their yard an access point.  So, once on the greenway go under the Tyvola bridge and connect to Buckingham, (a very quiet residential rd that parallels Park) to  Seneca. Then take the sidewalk along park to Heather Lane. Here, your option would be to go left down Heather to a connecting ped/bike bridge that will lead you to Scaleybark's  bike lane to South Blvd.; or cross Park at the Heather Lane stop light and worm your way through the Park Rd Shopping Center's parking lot to the Sugar Creek Greenway, that's on the back side of the shopping center.  This connector will get you safely ( and  quite nicely) to  7th Street.  

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9 hours ago, davidclt said:

OPML attached (yeah I'm a geek) and a few Charlotte (Nooze Hounds, R&D in the QC,  The Charlotte Podcast and of course CT) and NC podcasts (Away Message) in the list as well as some music, news, politics, money/business/finance, science/health, storytelling, etc. I will say for podcasts, I do like PocketCasts. It's cross device compatible on Android, iOS, Linux, Mac (OSX) and Windows with a web player for PCs and native clients for iOS and Android and cloud syc for subscriptions and progress. That said, I get the Google ecosystem, etc. Seems like Tesla defanged TuneIn on their latest releases and I lost my "Favorites Radio" which was fine (I also use Spotify which may explain the disappearance of TuneIn on my head unit).

podcasts_opml.xml 12.56 kB · 0 downloads

What year and Model do you have? My 2020 S still has favorites and I use that to find my casts. Im pretty sure I saw WFAE there last time I drove her.

Thanks very much for the list.

6 hours ago, Bikeguy said:

As far as I know, there is no "official" link from the Park Crossing neighborhood to the Sugar Creek Greenway.  Though one very nice resident ( over the objections of his neighbors) has made their yard an access point.  So, once on the greenway go under the Tyvola bridge and connect to Buckingham, (a very quiet residential rd that parallels Park) to  Seneca. Then take the sidewalk along park to Heather Lane. Here, your option would be to go left down Heather to a connecting ped/bike bridge that will lead you to Scaleybark's  bike lane to South Blvd.; or cross Park at the Heather Lane stop light and worm your way through the Park Rd Shopping Center's parking lot to the Sugar Creek Greenway, that's on the back side of the shopping center.  This connector will get you safely ( and  quite nicely) to  7th Street.  

Cool, thanks! I know about the obnoxious kerfuffle wrt connecting the neighborhood via easements and where those nice folks live. 

I swear everywhere I've lived a bunch of elderly people are worried about a "bad element" using the bike path to lead people out of more urban areas (code word..) to rape and pillage.  Dumb is as dumb does. It even happened in liberal VT and help up the absolutely gorgeous path along Lake Champlain. Now they're selling and what is their biggest selling point? Yeah...

 

Edited by elrodvt
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6 minutes ago, elrodvt said:

What year and Model do you have? My 2020 S still has favorites and I use that to find my casts. Im pretty sure I saw WFAE there last time I drove her.

Oops, Tesla didn't defang TuneIn, they defanged Slacker - oops, TuneIn  is still A-OK. Spotify is still a PITA. I have a 2019 Model 3. One of the best purchases I've ever made. Was afraid I'd have buyer's remorse. It's been almost two years and I *still* look forward to driving.

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1 minute ago, davidclt said:

Oops, Tesla didn't defang TuneIn, they defanged Slacker - oops, TuneIn  is still A-OK. Spotify is still a PITA. I have a 2019 Model 3. One of the best purchases I've ever made. Was afraid I'd have buyer's remorse. It's been almost two years and I *still* look forward to driving.

Yep, I cancelled Spotify as a result. I just wish they would integrate YTMusic and be done with it. 

They seem to have a more than healthy desire to build everything themselves.

Geek as well. Data Warehouse Engineer and Analytics.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Getting serious about purchasing a e-bike now that the weather is turning.

As usual I'm having a hard time being reasonable about it and am drifting into the $2500 range. Hey, what's the point of dying with $ in the bank right?

At this point the leading contender is this guy:

https://electricbikecompany.com/model-x/

Anyone have one? Comments?

One thing I'd like to use it for is riding into Hornets or Knights games from park crossing subdivision. Maybe even up to UNCC for 49'rs. Do you think that's practical - especially the ride back at night? Anyone have experience with getting the spectrum and Knights folks to let you bring in your battery? Other ideas on keeping it safe? I never paid much attention to bike racks near those locations.

I suppose I could always hop on the train going back at night and get off somewhere near park crossing and with safe secondary streets or the greenway from there?

Thanks for all the help so far!

 

 

 

Edited by elrodvt
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On 3/6/2021 at 5:06 AM, elrodvt said:

Getting serious about purchasing a e-bike now that the weather is turning.

As usual I'm having a hard time being reasonable about it and am drifting into the $2500 range. Hey, what's the point of dying with $ in the bank right?

At this point the leading contender is this guy:

https://electricbikecompany.com/model-x/

Anyone have one? Comments?

One thing I'd like to use it for is riding into Hornets or Knights games from park crossing subdivision. Maybe even up to UNCC for 49'rs. Do you think that's practical - especially the ride back at night? Anyone have experience with getting the spectrum and Knights folks to let you bring in your battery? Other ideas on keeping it safe? I never paid much attention to bike racks near those locations.

I suppose I could always hop on the train going back at night and get off somewhere near park crossing and with safe secondary streets or the greenway from there?

Thanks for all the help so far!

 

 

 

I was thinking about getting a Super73 to mess around with on the weekends. I never thought about the battery thing. Maybe wear one of those over-the-shoulder fanny packs like the youngsters do. 

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2 hours ago, lit said:

I was thinking about getting a Super73 to mess around with on the weekends. I never thought about the battery thing. Maybe wear one of those over-the-shoulder fanny packs like the youngsters do. 

Those are interesting. I wonder if you would get kicked off the greenway on one of those?

Many states have rules depending on bike class (1,2,3). It appears Nc has no rules though and even  if they did it's not clear where something like the 73 fits in? 

Also, do you expect to pedal it at all or basically use it like a mini-bike?

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12 hours ago, elrodvt said:

Those are interesting. I wonder if you would get kicked off the greenway on one of those?

Many states have rules depending on bike class (1,2,3). It appears Nc has no rules though and even  if they did it's not clear where something like the 73 fits in? 

Also, do you expect to pedal it at all or basically use it like a mini-bike?

I used to ride a Ruckus on McAlpine and never got booted.  I ride an old Mountain Bike down and back up McAlpine pretty often too. I would expect to pedal it the whole way down but probably use assist or all-motor coming back up (up-hill).  It's not as easy as it used to be.

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On 3/6/2021 at 5:06 AM, elrodvt said:

One thing I'd like to use it for is riding into Hornets or Knights games from park crossing subdivision. Maybe even up to UNCC for 49'rs. Do you think that's practical - especially the ride back at night? Anyone have experience with getting the spectrum and Knights folks to let you bring in your battery? Other ideas on keeping it safe? I never paid much attention to bike racks near those locations.

I suppose I could always hop on the train going back at night and get off somewhere near park crossing and with safe secondary streets or the greenway from there?

I have taken my bike to quite a few Knights games from Dilworth. The trip there is quick and easy in the daylight and there are plenty of bike racks at the ballpark on the Mint street sidewalk, but I generally preferred to lock up at the park just across the street from the entrance to BB&T. Getting home at night its a bit trickier due to a couple of car pinch points that are worse when leaving uptown. The Tryon bridge over 277 around Hill street is a race track and I generally need to make a left into the Cigar shop lot there. The other tricky stretch is getting from Tryon to the rail trail -- the entry to the trail at Morehead is very badly designed, you gotta choose between sidewalk riding against traffic or a blind, mid-block,  turn across four lanes of racetrack.  The new bridge over 277 should help with this -- whenever it gets open. The real impediment to my bike ride home was Thirsty Thursdays but that is a different topic all together....

Back when the Checkers were uptown I rarely rode there since it was generally too cold for me to be happy riding home. I don't think there are many bike racks around the Cablebox. I believe there are a few racks across from the CTC down at the Streetcar level.

I can't imagine the security staff at the Cable Box would be very happy with you bringing in a battery (one of their jobs is to keep out anything that can be easily thrown). You might have more luck at the ballpark. Unfortunately every time I enter either place it is someone else screening me, so I would imagine it would be a negotiation every time and the lack of certainty would be a dealbreaker for me.

Edited by kermit
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On 3/7/2021 at 1:39 PM, elrodvt said:

Those are interesting. I wonder if you would get kicked off the greenway on one of those?

Many states have rules depending on bike class (1,2,3). It appears Nc has no rules though and even  if they did it's not clear where something like the 73 fits in? 

Also, do you expect to pedal it at all or basically use it like a mini-bike?

NCGS 20-4.01 7(a) Electric Assisted Bicycle. – A bicycle with two or three wheels that is equipped with a seat or saddle for use by the rider, fully operable pedals for human propulsion, and an electric motor of no more than 750 watts, whose maximum speed on a level surface when powered solely by such a motor is no greater than 20 miles per hour.

h. Motorcycles. – Vehicles having a saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, including autocycles, motor scooters, and motor-driven bicycles, but excluding tractors and utility vehicles equipped with an additional form of device designed to transport property, three-wheeled vehicles while being used by law-enforcement agencies, electric assisted bicycles, and mopeds as defined in sub-subdivision d1. of this subdivision.

i. Motor-driven bicycle. – A vehicle with two or three wheels, a steering handle, one or two saddle seats, pedals, and a motor that cannot propel the vehicle at a speed greater than 20 miles per hour on a level surface. This term shall not include an electric assisted bicycle as defined in subdivision (7a) of this section.

j. Moped. – A vehicle, other than a motor-driven bicycle or electric assisted bicycle, that has two or three wheels, no external shifting device, a motor that does not exceed 50 cubic centimeters piston displacement and cannot propel the vehicle at a speed greater than 30 miles per hour on a level surface. The motor may be powered by electricity, alternative fuel, motor fuel, or a combination of each.

Basically an electric bike in NC works as a bicycle as long as the motor doesn't let it go above 20mph on flat ground and the wattage of the motor is no more than 750 watts.  If it goes above 30 mph it's a moped, and faster than that it's a motorcycle.  If it goes between 20mph and 30 mph and has a shifter it's also a motorcycle.  Mopeds and motorcycles need plates and insurance (when operated in public) and cannot go on bicycle paths.  

Edited by DEnd
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After a great deal of research, including lots of help here, I pulled the trigger and ordered a bike just now. As is my wont I convinced myself that I needed a top of the line product. ;-)

I picked this model because i really liked the bikes specs and the return / warranty policy is very generous. Also, besides my typical greenway use, I believe I'll be able to do non-extreme trail rides in the national parks with it. The walk mode with throttle will really help there.  Might need to buy some knobbies though.

https://evelo.com/products/aurora-limited

Next I need to get accessories. One really annoying thing with e-bikes is their weight necessitates a hitch mount bike rack and to put a hitch on my Tesla S would be around $600. Then the rack itself for another ~$400. Not worth it to me so I guess I'll have to figure out how to slide it in the back of the car by myself.  Plenty of room but not easy to get ~#70 of bike slid in there by myself without damaging the car. I guess my best bet will be to drape a moving blanket off the bumper and tip the bike onto it until the pedals are in the car and then pull from the front using the blanket. Sigh... I have a sinking feeling I'll be featured on some funniest video web page.

 

Anyone care to share what they've accessories their bike with? Mirrors and stuff plus tools and parts ( tire sealant, tubes, extra gates belt etc).

One thing I thought would be nice is a Bluetooth speaker to mount on the handlebar for playing podcasts plus has a button to press to emulate a bell when overtaking. Can't find one yet. Maybe I'll build it myself. Etsy here I come.

 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, elrodvt said:

Next I need to get accessories. One really annoying thing with e-bikes is their weight necessitates a hitch mount bike rack and to put a hitch on my Tesla S would be around $600. Then the rack itself for another ~$400. Not worth it to me so I guess I'll have to figure out how to slide it in the back of the car by myself.  Plenty of room but not easy to get ~#70 of bike slid in there by myself without damaging the car. I guess my best bet will be to drape a moving blanket off the bumper and tip the bike onto it until the pedals are in the car and then pull from the front using the blanket. Sigh... I have a sinking feeling I'll be featured on some funniest video web page.

Look into getting a hitch at U-Haul. They put one on my old Civic years ago and I was out the door for like $150, including a lifetime product and installation warranty. 

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8 minutes ago, tozmervo said:

Look into getting a hitch at U-Haul. They put one on my old Civic years ago and I was out the door for like $150, including a lifetime product and installation warranty. 

If you have a garage and a few sockets, installing a hidden hitch that you can get from Amazon is quite easy for $120ish depending on your car (uhaul charges quite a bit more now).   There is nothing to it besides removing 6 bolts from the frame, lifting up the hitch to the frame (a helper for 5 minutes to get two bolts started) and tightening the bolts and you are done. 

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2 hours ago, InSouthPark said:

If you have a garage and a few sockets, installing a hidden hitch that you can get from Amazon is quite easy for $120ish depending on your car (uhaul charges quite a bit more now).   There is nothing to it besides removing 6 bolts from the frame, lifting up the hitch to the frame (a helper for 5 minutes to get two bolts started) and tightening the bolts and you are done. 

Unfortunately it appears Tesla is a special case. From what I've been able to gather installation may require removing the bumper.  Plus given the Aluminum pieces on the car and most brackets being iron or steel you end up risking galvanic reactions. Some disturbing pictures of that on the TWC forum of  hitches eating into the car parts. Not good! You can mitigate by applying some rubberized coating to the hitch but not sure I'm willing to risk that on a ~80K car.

Which by the way would have cost me 7500 less in CO plus no neanderthal extra registration fees for non CO2 emitting vehicles. :tw_rage:

Edited by elrodvt
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  • 1 month later...

Does anyone know if there are any regulations that prevent the City from making the bike lanes along the Streetcar Route (Elizabeth Ave./Hawthorne) protected?  There are lines painted but nothing else so no sane person would actually think it is perfectly safe to bike on it without risk of being hit by a car.

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